Return To Me

Essentially a romantic comedy with a heavier-than-usual dramatic component, this sweet-natured film is thoroughly unbalanced by the grotesquely melodramatic conceit that drives it. Chicago natives Bob and Elizabeth Rueland (David Duchovny, Joely Richardson) are the perfect couple; she's a primatologist at the Lincoln Park Zoo, he's an architectural engineer,...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Essentially a romantic comedy with a heavier-than-usual dramatic component, this sweet-natured film is thoroughly unbalanced by the grotesquely melodramatic conceit that drives it. Chicago natives Bob and Elizabeth Rueland (David Duchovny,

Joely Richardson) are the perfect couple; she's a primatologist at the Lincoln Park Zoo, he's an architectural engineer, and they've been sweetly, deeply in love since high school. Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver) hasn't been so lucky: An orphan raised by her grandfather (Carroll O'Connor), Grace has

suffered from progressive heart disease since her teens and will die unless she has a heart transplant. The Ruelands' tragedy is Grace's salvation: Elizabeth dies in a car accident, and Grace gets her heart. Bob, of course, is utterly devastated, but a year after Elizabeth's death he lets her

friend Charlie (David Alan Grier) set him up on a date. The date is awful, but it's at O'Reilly's Irish-Italian restaurant, which just happens to be owned by Grace's grandpa, and Grace just happens to be Bob's waitress. The rules of attraction kick in, but can Grace and Bob's budding romance

survive the inevitable moment when they discover the bizarre and tragic bond that connects them? Actress Bonnie Hunt's feature-film directing debut was apparently conceived as a lighter-than-air fable about the sometimes brutal caprices and surprising strength of true love. It has a number of

virtues, chief among them that it provides a quintet of older actors — O'Connor and his restaurant cronies Robert Loggia, Eddie Jones, William Bronder and Marianne Muellerleile — with roles so vivid and funny that they nearly steal the show out from under Duchovny and Driver. But the

grisly weight of that central premise hangs over the proceedings like a bloody piñata, always threatening to drench the slight romance in blood and tears.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Essentially a romantic comedy with a heavier-than-usual dramatic component, this sweet-natured film is thoroughly unbalanced by the grotesquely melodramatic conceit that drives it. Chicago natives Bob and Elizabeth Rueland (David Duchovny, Joely Richardso… (more)

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